New essays on theological, political, and contemporary themes, by the Pulitzer Prize winnerMarilynne Robinson has plumbed the human spirit in her renowned novels, including Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In this new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith. Whether she is investigating how the work of great thinkers about America like Emerson and Tocqueville inform our political consciousness or discussing the way that beauty informs and disciplines daily life, Robinson's peerless prose and boundless humanity are on full display. What Are We Doing Here? is a call for Americans to continue the tradition of those great thinkers and to remake American political and cultural life as "deeply impressed by obligation and as a great theater of heroic generosity, which, despite all, is sometimes palpable still."...
|Title||:||What Are We Doing Here?|
|Number of Pages||:||336 pages|
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What Are We Doing Here? Reviews
These challenging essays ranging from meditations on Faith, Hope, and Love, to a reexamination of the Puritanism and Calvinism also offer hope to those ruefully wondering why they chose to throw themselves into the humanities. I couldn't always keep up with Marilynne's sharp mind, and I might have tapped out of one or two essays after repeated mentions of the name "Oliver Cromwell," but overall, I was stretched and edified by this collection.
Marilynne Robinson is a contrarian historian at heart. She challenges accepted beliefs about historical movements and personages and goes to original texts to draw her own conclusions. She rejects simple explanations for things that are complex and the tendency to try to explain everything within frameworks like Darwinism, Freudianism, or capitalism. Ms. Robinson is comfortable with science and doesn't reject those theories. Her point is that they are used to explain things they just can't fully ...more
This was one of my free giveaways win. it took me a bit of time to read this as yes it isn't a story it is essays written by Marilynne Robinson. If you are a christen who believes in the bible this is a really informative of why we are here and how the past and future follows the teaching of the bible and in God and Jesus Christ and the teachings of mankind. (love, conscience and faith, hope and the practices of life). I took alot out of these essays but it didn't change alot of my mind set. I b ...more
This is not a lightweight read, as Robinson is an academic first, one who happens to write novels. Most of these essays are speeches Robinson gave at universities between 2015 and 2017, on themes of religion, politics, holiness, humanism, etc. She was clearly on a John Edwards, Calvinism, and Cromwell kick because several of the essays reference these characters, as well as looking at the true history of America and its "Puritan roots." While I believe Robinson understands something deep about h ...more
I had never read anything by Marilynne Robinson before I read this new book of essays by her. Having done so, I must acknowledge that I now need to read more books by this author, probably starting with her novel, Gilead. This is a marvelous book of essays on humanism, religion, metaphysics, ethics, Puritanism, writing, conscience, and plain old critical thinking. These essays are challenging, well thought through and rigorous, and demanding on the reader. I felt like I was under increasing pres ...more
This is a good book, I gave it 3 stars because I couldn't finish it. If I had started it at any other time other then the middle of a busy semester I would have been able to finish it and love it. So for right now it hasn't been finished, however, I will come back to it when I able to read more then 1 or 2 pages at a time.
Marilynne Robinson alerts us in the introduction to her collection of essays, What Are We Doing Here?, that she is “too old to mince words.”
While we can remind her that she also fully partakes of the tendency of the elderly to repeat themselves, we need to concede that some of what she repeats is eminently worth hearing — for instance, her passionate argument against turning America’s colleges and universities into business schools and training programs and in favor of currently devalued libera ...more
We have invented common ground so that we can fight on it. This ground is a place that is safe from conceptions of mind and spirit and a significant amount of nuance in our history. It has been hammered flat. But our terms come at the immeasurable cost of all that is immeasurable.
In this dry and diminished conversation, Marilynne Robinson answers a deep-seated thirst for wonder.
Her approach is to take exception to our culture's basic assumptions about who we are and explore them in the light of ...more